Seth Udinski, FISM News
In April 2021, FISM News reported a legal battle for the freedom of religion between the English city of Blackpool and American pastor Franklin Graham. Graham won a lawsuit over the city earlier this year after the city of Blackpool stripped advertisements for Graham’s “Festival of Hope” in Lancashire in 2018, criticizing the pastor’s stance against the LGBTQ revolution. Last week, reparations were paid to Graham’s ministry for this outright violation of the freedom of religion.
City officials paid the Festival of Hope team roughly $150,000 and also issued a forced apology. The apology read,
We discriminated against Lancashire Festival of Hope because of the religious beliefs of Franklin Graham and in doing so interfered with Lancashire Festival of Hope’s right to freedom of speech. We sincerely apologize to the organizers of the event for the upset and inconvenience caused.
In a culture where faithful Christians are constantly attacked for displaying biblical faithfulness, it is encouraging to see Christians defended under the legal system. Pastor Graham said after the funds were awarded and the apology administered,
This is an important moment for religious freedom in the UK. We’re grateful to God for the final outcome of this case, and for what it will mean for churches and Christians across the UK in the years ahead. The Good News of Jesus Christ must be proclaimed. My prayer is that this case will encourage Christians to stand firm.
Hopefully, Pastor Graham is right, that this will encourage Christians to stand firm on the truth of God’s Word.